The 1996 Chicago Marathon was my first. I had only run a 5K in May of that year and when my friend Pam suggested I should do the marathon, it sounded like fun. Of course, I didn’t seriously train because I believed raw ability would get me to the finish line. Unfortunately, I was right.
For the next 7 years, I ran at least one marathon a year (sometimes 2, 3 or 4). My lackadaisical training continued to get me to the finish line with times around the 4 hour mark. With joggling added to the mix, I was generally satisfied with my accomplishments. I always came in first place of all the jogglers .
However, at the end of every marathon, I always had this thought that I could be faster if I trained better. But since I knew I’d never win a marathon (or even my age division), and was already the fastest joggler, there was little incentive to get me to train harder.
Then in 2003 I surprised myself by running the Twin Cities marathon in 3:51. This was only 30 minutes slower than the joggling world record and I thought it would be fun to break the record. This meant, I’d have to do some serious training.
And I trained hard. Long runs, some tempos, a few sprints. But not hard enough. In 2004, I joggled my way to a 3:25. Beat my best by 25 minutes, but no world record. Since then, I’ve continued to train hard, but still have only managed a 3:21 PR. Unfortunately, the world record is beyond me at 2:50.
In yesterday’s Chicago Marathon, I felt confident I could get a PR but ended with a 3:38:08 instead. A disappointing 18 minutes off my goal. So, today I’m left to wonder…
I put in the training miles (although I could’ve done more)
I’m not overweight (although I could lose a few pounds)
I do speedwork (probably not enough)
Can someone please tell me, what is the magic formula for turning this Average Marathon Joggler into a Boston Qualifying Marathon Joggler?